I've maintained sketchbooks for a few years, I think the habit came from the variety of workshops I took with Gail Harker, first a series of City and Guilds classes and then some of Gail's own series. Check out her offerings at www.gailcreativestudies.com I sure can't recommend them highly enough and now she offers them online-a real bonus if you don't live in the Pacific Northwest!
Gail introduces her students to one of the best quality sketchbooks that are produced. They come in a variety of sizes and I love the 9" x 9", but also the 8" x 10" and the 6" x 6", the 6" x 9" and probably every size there is! The line of sketchbooks is called the AquaBee and they are perfect for mixed media, wet and dry applications and are a Natural White paper. I use a variety of marking products, this time I'm using felt tip markers. Just a note on markers----don't use Sharpie, they tend to leave a hard dot at the beginning and end of a line and they often smear when wet. I much prefer Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Pigma markers or Pentel markers. Actually my favourite is the Pitt marker as it has India ink which is perfect for using in my Thermofax machine!
If you are nervous about putting a line on a BIG WHITE PAPER, many people find it to be helpful to mark the paper first in some way. I love to paint my pages first. You can use any colours or media you want, such as acrylic paints (great way to use up bits and pieces of colour) Procion dye washes, watercolours or gouache. Try a variety and play with colour combinations. You can't make mistakes! I used complementary colours of yellow and mauve on the pages below and added some iridescent wash as well.
Next I chose to use circles as a theme for one page, how many ways could I draw lines through those circles or divide them up into other shapes? Here's just a little sampling of limitless possibilities:
On the second page, I following the colour changes and made contour lines to emphasize the borders between the different colours, I also played around with some silver pen to highlight some areas. There's so much more that I could add to these pages, let's try some other ideas out for next week!
What do you like to try in your sketchbooks?